New Airline Security Measures

Although this topic may deserve a pit thread, I’m looking for factual answers or at least an educated guess.

New airline security measures include prohibitions against passengers getting out of their seats during the last hour of a flight as well having anything, even a book, on their lap during that time.

What is the point of these regulations? Why is OK (i.e. safe) to get up with 65 minutes left in the flight but not 55? Do terrorists confine their actions to the flight’s last hour? Why won’t they now do their dastardly deed before the last hour?

These changes seem so absurd. Am I missing something?

Does seem a bit silly.

I was still flying for the airlines when 9/11 happened. In the immediate aftermath they imposed similar rrestrictions (stay in seats for the last hour) when operating into Washington DC.

The logic was that A) the goal was not to prevent explosions or hijackings, but rather prevent explosions or hijackings that resulted in damage to Washington. And B) if anybody got up during the quiet hour, we were to assume they were hostiles and a bunch of special procedures went into effect.

The main goal then was to prevent hijackings. And a bad guy pretty well had to get out of his seat to succeed at hijacking. We still had the weak, easily-breached cockpit doors then, but we had made the procedural change from “cooperate withth hijackers” to “land asap regardless of cabin or cockpit carnage.”
For the specific case of the recent Delta/Northwest incident, the time prior to the last hour = 400-ish miles was all over uninhabited terrain. If somebody blew the airplane up over the Great White North, collateral damge on the ground will be zero.

For the case of a flight from, say, Ohio to NYC, the whole flight will be over or near suburbia, and collateral damage on the ground is quite likely wherever the bomb goes off. IOW, the policy does nothing very useful.

Just making guesses, but if a plane was damaged but not destroyed having it a few thousand feet up might make it easier for the crew to deal with the situation in time to prevent a crash. As well, wouldn’t it be more likely for the plane to be over heavily populated areas during the final portion of its flight?

As to 55 minutes vs. 65 minutes, I’m sure that’s a case of just picking a time to base the new rules on. Easier to enforce rules that have very specific criteria.

Or is the purpose merely to make flying an even more miserable experience. The security failure in the recent…incident was on the ground.’

I flew home from Bermuda to Newark yesterday in the middle of all the new rules. We were told to stay in our seats and not access the overhead bins, but I went in and out of my purse and no one blinked. They did get real aggressive really quickly when someone tried to get up. We left 45 min late because they had to do a final search and pat down as each person got on the plane (after security).

It’s because they know that I have a 55-minute bladder. I’d wear a catheter on my next flight but that might get a response from the security folks during the final pat-down.

I think the new rules only have to do with international flights arriving in the U.S., not domestic flights. Is that right?

They’re just grabbing at straws, no-one knows what to do. If you stop people from getting up one hour before it lands they will just get up and do what they do before the one hour limit. It is terrible this almost happened but the coverage this has got is astounding. This is getting more coverage than the 250,000 people that died in Indonesia. Let’s be realistic although one death is unacceptable there were 270 people on this flight.

I always use the example of a bank. We had a bank many years ago in the subway and I think it was the only one in the city with bullet proof glass. So basically “the bank” classifies everyone entering as a potential robber but maybe only .0001% actually are. The same scenario applies to the airline industry. We must consider everyone as a terrorist and check EVERYONE. As sad as that is, it is the only way to be safe. We cannot count on safety based on the incompetence of a terrorist. Thank goodness this incident failed and everyone is safe.

This case had “red flags” all over the place and someone somewhere failed us all. This must be corrected.

Seeing as this is in GQ, the answer is: no :smiley:

Well it’s not quite the same thing as a bank. I mean an airline must be safe or people will quit using it. If my bank is unsafe, so what? I can’t tell you the last time I was in my bank. I use ATMs and direct deposit and such.

If the bank was robbed everyday, I wouldn’t care, as long as my money was insured.

In an airline, if one plane is blown up, you get nervous passengers and the airlines which already are on thin ice, may go under.

I think the new rule will be interesting, 'cause on more than one flight I’ve seen people, usually young kids, get sick as they start the decent. I used to fly Chicago to NYC and around 30 minutes before it lands, the plane starts lowering itself, and I’ve seen quite a few younger kids feel turbulence or more accurately imbalance, and get sick and run to the bathroom. I guess they’ll be using the paper bags from now on eh?

I guess since the people wanting to blow up planes will keep on trying to blow them up all the regulators can do is take each “close call” and then stop people from doing what that person did.


The government doesn’t want to “upset” people because of security. Traveler egos are so sensitive because Americans just don’t want to take responsibility for themselves. So we have what we have. If we want to be serious about airline security then enforce the existing rules to the letter, with no exceptions. And start enforcing rules that so many look the other way. On example should be carryon luggage. Enforce the size and weight restrictions with no exceptions. Your carryon doesn’t meet them? Too bad, it now is checked baggage. Of course, you must then have a 30-day advertising blitiz announcing the restrictions, but you will still have people showing up at the airport, “I didn’t know …”

Perhaps we should adopt the El Al security system?

Exactly. The whole fucking problem isn’t that the guy was using personal items in the last hour; it’s that he was able to get explosives (or whatever they were) onto the plane in the first place.

And, of course, had I chosen to post this thread in the Pit, I’m sure your answer would have been, “No, not a goddam fucking thing!!”. :smiley:

What does the size and weight restrictions on carry on bags have to do with security? Has anyone ever hijacked or threatened an aircraft using something that would not have fit in a standard carry on? Enforcing the restrictions would provide revenue enhancement for the airlines, and might make travel more pleasant for those who current observe the restrictions, but I don’t see any security benefit.

Is the TSA’s website up to date? I’m still trying to figure out what I can and cannot bring on my honeymoon in a couple weeks…

You reduce the mishmash at security if everyone is limited to what they carry on board. What they do carry on board can be scrutinized more fully. As a crass example, require all carryons to be limited to two pieces the size of a standard shoe box and the weight being no more five pounds a piece. Just think how fast the carryons would be inspected, allowing just that much more time for individuals to be searched.

I don’t refuse to fly these days because planes got blown up. I refuse to fly because all the security measures make it intolerable. When they go under, I won’t notice.

My UK passport expired last year, I did not renew it because like you I’m totally cheesed off having to undergo all the security measures.

Yes I know they are neccessary but that doesn’t make them any more tolerable, my days of foreign holidays are over.

I’m just glad that I’ve managed to see a fair bit of the world already.

See, if I reasonably believed they were necessary/actually helped, I’d object a lot less. I feel like someone’s mumbling incantations and waving their hands around in front of my face - “Okay, NOW you’re safe!”

At the rate US airport / air flight security is going, that’s not a bad idea: Replace the management of the TSA with Israeli air security professionals.